How to Perfect 2020's Biggest Nail Trend at Home With (Basically) No Skills
ICYMI—the French manicure has been the comeback kid of 2020. Previously considered outdated, frumpy, and old-fashioned, French-inspired nail designs began their revenge ascent back in 2019, and despite some raised eyebrows, the trend shows no sign of slowing down. (And we're so not complaining!)
Not only is the traditional white Frech manicure overtaking our Instagram feeds and nail-dusted inspiration boards, but countless whimsical, unexpected, and super-fresh takes on the trend are also popping up. The sky is the limit when it comes to French nail designs—not only can you switch up your tip shade of choice (we're especially loving neons and pastels), but things like glitter, nail stickers, and additional patterns and angles make for equally chic updates.
To celebrate, we asked celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik (who works with A-list clients like Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez) to walk us through his step-by-step process for perfecting a French nail design at home. And then, (just to get your creative juices flowing), we've included tons of French manicure inspiration pics for you to scroll through at the end. Try them yourself or simply screenshot for whenever we're allowed to visit the nail salon again. Keep Scrolling!
When it comes to perfecting the art of an at-home French manicure or nail design, Bachik says that above all, a slow and steady approach wins the race.
"I find the biggest mistake people make when attempting a French manicure at home is rushing the process," he warns. "Because a French manicure has multiple layers and the white goes on thicker, it can be easy to smudge. Be patient, and take your time. Allow each step to dry before moving to the next step."
"This is where you get to have fun with it!" exclaims Bachik. "You can still use the general techniques from above but change it up a bit with the shapes."
For instance, instead of a classic, soft, natural 'smile line’ on your tip, Bachik says you can switch it up to create a deeper oval (for a more dramatic look) or you can create sharp sides to create a modern-looking V-shaped French nail design.
"Also, don’t forget to play with color!" he notes. "Make each tip a different color, or each side of the tip a different color. Add accents like a metallic stripe between the tip or a stud in the cuticle or between a two-colored tip...the options are endless! The key is to play and have fun with it and make it your own."